April 6th, 1993 is the beginning of the last katun period of the Mayan Great Cycle. A katun is about 20 years in length, and there are 260 katuns in a Great Cycle of 13 baktuns (about 5125 years). There is a lot of talk in New Age circles about "nexus points" in time, marking the celebration of collective experiences which will culminate in the dawning of a new era sometime around 2012 A.D. Harmonic Convergence, the 11:11 event, Dreamspell; what is this all about?
I will try to make a case for April 6th, 1993 being a nexus point in the Mayan Calendar. Most importantly, the date has the authority of being rooted in a 3000-year old calendar tradition. The tendency in modern myth-making is to use the general frame work of the ancient Sacred Calendar oracle, and twist the specifics to fit ones own agenda. While modern "Harmonic Convergence" type events claim to be supported by the Mayan Calendar, where does the still living true Count of Days stand in relation to the modern New Age interpretations? Where do the Quiche, Ixil, and other Indian groups still following the unbroken Count of Days fit into the picture? What I want to do here is present an important date reckoned by the traditional Sacred Count which is no less amazing than some of the Neo-Mayan derivatives.
Today is May 25th, 1992. 2500 miles to the southeast of Colorado, daykeepers in the Highlands of Guatemala are throwing tzi-tzi seeds, divining day-sign auguries for clients according to the sacred 260-day count. For them, today is called 3 Kan (3 Serpent). Tomorrow will be 4 Came (4 Death). The combination of 13 numbers and 20 day-signs repeats every 260 days, and the same sequence of days has been followed unbroken throughout Mesoamerica for some 3000 years. Extending the count further back in time, to the beginning date of the Mayan Great Cycle in 3114 B.C., we find that the first day was 4 Ahau. The beginning date is named by its Julian Day number: 584283. This count is the standard (otherwise known as the GMT correlation), and is supported by findings in ethnohistory, archeology, and astronomy. In addition, it corresponds with the surviving count in Highland Guatemala. It gives us the Great Cycle end date of December 21st, 2012 A.D., which also occurs on 4 Ahau. According to the GMT reckoning, we are due to end the second-to-last katun of the Great Cycle on April 5th, 1993 (6 Ahau). The final katun begins the following day, April 6th - 220.127.116.11.1. This, in itself, is a justified "nexus point" in the Mayan Calendar. However, there is another fact that makes it even more so; Venus rises as morning star on April 6th.
The Mayans were astute observers of the Venus cycle. In fact, one of the three remaining Mayan books, the Dresden Codex, records the occurrences of morningstar Venus risings for several centuries circa 900 A.D. Also, the three primary cycles of Mayan time, the Venus cycle (584 days), the vague solar year (365 days), and the sacred almanac (260 days) were synchronized by a Venus rising known as the Sacred Day of Venus, to occur on 1 Ahau. (Ahau means marksman, blowgunner, lord, sun.)
How often should we expect a Venus rising to coincide with a katun beginning? A katun equals 7200 days. The Venus cycle has 583.92 days. The relationship of these two periods is such that 3 katuns equals 37 Venus cycles. For both to meet on an Ahau day is more rare; the beginning of every 15th katun coincides with a Venus morningstar rising on an Ahau day. 15 katuns is almost 300 years. Actually, this is just the pure mathematics of it. Due to variations in the Venus cycle the combination of factors which come together on April 6th, 1993 is undeniably unique.
It is significant that the Venus emergence as morningstar coincides with a katun beginning one day after an Ahau day (6 Ahau), because Ahau is, according to the Dresden Codex, the senior day-sign. In fact, as mentioned above, 1 Ahau is the Sacred Day of Venus, which begins a 104-year period called the Venus Round. In light of this, I must mention that the 4.5.93 date points us to another significant "nexus point" in the Mayan calendar. About 8 years after the 4.5.93 event, Venus again emerges as morningstar (5 Venus cycles approximately equal 8 solar years). This time the emergence occurs on 1 Ahau, the traditional Sacred Day of Venus. For reasons detailed in a study presently underway, this 1 Ahau date, April 3rd, 2001, appears to be a modern Sacred Day of Venus. The most obvious reason is that it meets the Classic Maya criteria of occuring on 1 Ahau. Although the Venus Calendar tradition had become fragmented by the time of the conquest and is no longer followed by any surviving Mayan groups, the Venus rising on 1 Ahau in the year 2001 represents a modern reinauguration of the old Venus Round ritual.
So essentially, we have two important upcoming "nexus points" in the true calendar tradition: 1) April 6th 1993 desig¨nates a katun beginning and a Venus rising (as well as full moon!) on the day 6 Ahau, and 2) April 3rd, 2001 is a Sacred Day of Venus (1 Ahau Venus emergence as morning star). The "true" calendar tradition is the count used by the Classic Period Maya (300 - 900 A.D.), and in fact all Mesoamerican Indian groups including the present day Maya in Highland Guatemala. Some fringe-science books honor the traditional count, Bruce Scofield's Day-Signs among them. Others have divorced modern myth-making from its ethnohistoric source. While this is not criminal in terms of myth-making, such an approach should be distinguished from surviving daykeeper traditions which can claim the authority of its ancient Mayan source. Responsible myth-making must recognize the difference between a metaphor's denotation and its connotation (as Joseph Campbell would say); a myth does not dictate truth, it points us towards it. When we try to make myths into graven images, we get Fundamentalist Religions.
In summary, this is almost a statement of defense against half-truths being published which dishonor the Mayan Calendar tradition, and neglect the "holders of the flame" in Highland Guatemala. Specifically, I am speaking about the reports concerning Dreamspell, to begin on July 26th, 1992. In a Welcome To Planet Earth (April '91) interview with Jose Arguelles, the coordinator of Harmonic Convergence and Dreamspell, he calls the above Dreamspell date the beginning of the final katun. In the June/July '92 Mountain Astrologer , Maya del Mar reiterates this claim, and also says that "we celebrate the Mayan New Year" on that date (another distortion of the ethnohistoric record). While the inspiring myths promoted through Dreamspell may catalyze the masses, that date does not represent the beginning of the final katun of the Great Cycle. The day to day count promoted in Dreamspell also does not correspond with the one used in Highland Guatemala (the Classic Period count), and in fact will not give us 4 Ahau as the end date on December 21st, 2012 A.D. If the mythological specifics of the Sacred Calendar must change to fit contemporary needs, fine. If so, one is not justified in claiming the "Mayan Calendar" as their source of astrolo-mythic "nexus points" in time.
April 5th 1993: 6 Ahau 3 Vayeb. Katun ending: 18.104.22.168.0
Venus emerges as morningstar on the 6th. Full moon on the 5th.
Tikal haab begins on the 7th (0 Pop).
April 3rd 2001: 1 Ahau 3 Vayeb, Venus emerges as morningstar
on this day,
the Sacred Day of Venus, beginning a 104-haab Venus Round.
Tikal haab begins on the 5th (0 Pop).
December 21st, 2012: 4 Ahau 3 Kankin. End of 13th Baktun:
(Long Count). End of 13 Baktun Great Cycle. 1/5th of
Precessional Cycle. End of the Aztec 5th Sun,
the 4 Earthquake age.